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%AM, %20 %041 %2014 %00:%Sep

NYSC Corps Members React To N4000 Mandatory Fee

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Members of the National Youth Service Corps have reacted to the Corps' decision to charge prospective members N4,000 for the online processing of call-up letters.

The National Youth service corps has been criticised for the online call-up letter, which requires prospective corps members to pay a compulsory fee of N4,000 to download a copy.

According to the president of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, charging a fee to download call-up letters is synonymous with defrauding Nigerian graduates.

In an interview in Abuja on Thursday however, the Director-General of NYSC, Brig-Gen Johnson Olawumi stated that the fee was necessary to ensure the technological growth of the Corps' directorate in its operations. Most prospective corps members are however not convinced that this will be in their best interest. They have therefore appealed to the government to reduce the cost.

The NYSC management had earlier defended this fee, saying the online portal was to safeguard the lives of intending corps members and to eliminate forgery.

In defence of the fee, Mr. Anthony Ani, the Director of Corps Mobilisation had said "Before orientation, every prospective corps member has to pass through a long process, including travelling to collect call-up letters. Sometimes many corps members have died while travelling to get their call-up letters, and most times, school officials may not be there.

Going to camp, you meet long queues during registration, while others bring fake call-up letters. Some prospective corp members change their dates of birth because they want to serve and get discharge certificates. Some institutions are admitting students without passing through the Joint Admissions And Matriculation Board and enfolding them into unaccredited courses".

Mr. Tony Adewumi, a batch 'A' corps member stated that although the intention seemed honorable, one should not have to pay to serve one's country. He stated that N4,000 is too exorbitant, and that the government should be providing incentives, not discouraging the younger generation from serving. 

Saleem Salahudeen, a member of the NYSC CDS Editorial Board, pointed out that the incentive would not only save time and manpower but would reduce the stress and risks corps members often encounter in their effort to collect the letters. He noted that it is a stepping stone for development and a stepping stone for technological advancement and national improvement on service delivery. According to him, the initiative which is expected to commence with the next batch of incoming corps members is aimed at ensuring speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness in service delivery to corps members.

However, Okei-Odumakin described the step taken as exploitative.

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